In 1928 Paul Segal, W9EEA, took it upon himself to write a short description of what he considered to be the ideal amateur radio operator. His vision was to strengthen to amateur radio community and provide a foundation for operators to build upon ethically. His code was first published in the ARRL Handbook for the Radio Amateur in 1928 right in the front introduction section.
Although he had hoped, little did he know this would become the very code that all amateur radio operators aspire to uphold to this day. Though no operator is perfect, it is the spirit of this code that reminds us all to be our very best and do anything we can with our hobby to help others. To be a visual and audible representation of the good in humanity and the things we can accomplish together with this great skill.
The Radio Amateur is:
CONSIDERATE; never knowingly operating in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.
LOYAL; offering encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs, and the American Radio Relay League, through which Amateur Radio in the United States is represented nationally and internationally.
PROGRESSIVE; with knowledge abreast of science, a well-built and efficient station and operation above reproach.
FRIENDLY; with slow and patient operating when requested; friendly advice and counsel to the beginner; kind assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit.
BALANCED; with radio as an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school or community.
PATRIOTIC; with station and skill always ready for service to country and community.
–The original Amateur’s Code was written by Paul M. Segal, W9EEA, in 1928. The original code has been altered many times over the years for grammatical and referencing updates.